Just before the Enhanced Community Quarantine, the Philippines was ranked 57th out of 98 countries in the 2019 ranking of the world’s most polluted countries by IQAir AirVisual. Last year, amounts of tiny particulate matter, referred to as PM2.5, averaged 17.6 micrograms per cubic meter (μg / m3), up from 14.6 μg / m3 in 2018. They surpassed the 10 μg / m3 safety cap set by the World Health Organisation (WHO)
PM2.5 is classified as particulate matter having a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less. These spores, a combination of soot, ash, metals, additives, pollen, and other components, can be quickly breathed in and related to respiratory diseases.
According to a new Greenpeace report, air pollution in Manila has been related to between 11,000 and 27,000 deaths in 2018 alone and affects 98 percent of the12.8 million people in the capital city.
Metro Manila’s average emission level in 2019 was a normal event when fireworks are lit in celebration. Ashfall triggered by the eruption of the Taal volcano that month, according to the Manila Observatory, pushed PM2.5 rates in Metro Manila to 86 μg / m3 by January.
Right now, Manila City continues to enjoy healthier air after people retreated indoors under the threat of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and improved neighborhood quarantine implementation.
Asia Blue Skies Initiative, a Manila City government collaboration with Clean Air Asia and 3 M, monitors clean air in the region by calculating the volume of small particulate matter or PM2.5.
PM2.5 is particulate matter in the atmosphere having a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers. They originate from such causes as power stations, motor cars, aircraft, forest and herb burning, volcanic eruptions, and dust storms.
Many areas in the Philippine capital, however, had marginally higher PM2.5 concentrations than before the strengthened population quarantine resumed.
The average PM2.5 rates at Rizal Park in Ermita for the same duration last week were two percent higher, and nine percent higher at Mendiola corner ConcepcionAguila Street relative to the days before the quarantine started.
A Clean Air Asia survey earlier this month found that air quality has declined by 74 percent at Manila City Hall, by 50 percent at Mendiola, and by 61 percent at Rizal Park since the start of the enhanced civic quarantine.
This is such good news in trying times like this.